Anyone For Tea?

2014 Grand National is a wide open affair

Teaforthree is favourite in a  wide open race

Teaforthree is favourite in a wide open race

The field has been finalised for Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree, with a maximum of 40 runners set to line up in the famous steeplechase. The sad thing for South African punters is that there will be no Tellytrack coverage.

Tote outlets will have the international feed, but sadly nothing for the couch potatoes this year!

Lost Glory was the only withdrawal on Thursday, allowing Swing Bill a run.

Tidal Bay, trained by Paul Nicholls, heads the weights as the 13-year-old seeks to become the oldest winner for more than 90 years.

Latest approximate National odds

  • 8-1 Teaforthree
  • 12-1 Monbeg Dude, Double Seven
  • 14-1 Long Run, Tidal Bay
  • 20-1 Rocky Creek, Burton Port, Prince De Beauchene, Pineau De Re, Triolo D’Alene
  • 25-1 Bar

Contenders include 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run and Monbeg Dude, winner of the Welsh National in 2013.

Swing Bill, trained by David Pipe, was sixth last year and is owned by Judy Halewood, the boss of race sponsors Crabbie’s.

Monbeg Dude is second fancy and would be a popular winner

Monbeg Dude is second fancy and would be a popular winner

Last year’s third-placed horse Teaforthree is the current 8-1 favourite ahead of 12-1 shot Monbeg Dude, who is part-owned by former England rugby union captain Mike Tindall, team-mate James Simpson-Daniel and Welsh fly-half Nicky Robinson.

Tindall’s wife Zara, a leading equestrian rider, supervised schooling sessions last year to help the horse, trained by Michael Scudamore.

There had been 65 entries remaining for the race, which is run over 30 fences and nearly four and a half miles, with the lowest-rated horses balloted out.

The 2013 winner, Auroras Encore, has been retired and runner-up Cappa Bleu is injured.

Long Run, the Nicky Henderson-trained dual King George VI Chase winner, is the mount of amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen.

Champion trainer Henderson also has Hennessy Gold Cup winner Triolo D’Alene, Hunt Ball and Shakalakaboomboom as he looks to win the race for the first time.

Double Seven has been well backed after 18-time champion jockey AP McCoy was confirmed as rider of the Irish-trained horse.

The weighting game

Unlike the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where horses race off level weights, the Grand National is a handicap.

Horses are ranked according to their previous form, with the best given top weight.

The handicapper’s ultimate (although in practice unfeasible) aim is for the horses to pass the winning post in a dead heat.

The closest finish came in 2012 when Neptune Collonges denied Sunnyhillboy by the shortest possible distance – a nose.

McCoy, who won the big Aintree race on Don’t Push It four years ago, picked the eight-year-old ahead of Colbert Station, also owned by JP McManus.

2014 Runners

Number, form, horse, breeding, age, weight, trainer, jockey, approximate odds

1) 121-1532 TIDAL BAY (IRE) 13 11-10

Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies 14-1

2) 132-54U1 LONG RUN (FR) 9 11-09

Nicky Henderson Sam Waley-Cohen 14-1

3) 13-606034 HUNT BALL (IRE) 9 11-07

Nicky Henderson Andrew Tinkler 66-1

4) 301-1310 TRIOLO D’ALENE (FR) 7 11-06

Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 20-1

5) 1113-22 ROCKY CREEK (IRE) 8 11-05

Paul Nicholls Noel Fehily 20-1

6) 45-F405P QUITO DE LA ROQUE (FR) 10 11-01

Colm Murphy IRE Brian O’Connell 50-1

7) 1U-03U0F COLBERT STATION (IRE) 10 11-00

Ted Walsh IRE Mark Walsh 25-1

8) 22P52-U4 WALKON (FR) 9 11-00

Alan King Wayne Hutchison 50-1

9) 20P-1111 BALTHAZAR KING (IRE) 10 10-13

Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 25-1

10) P06-52P0 WAYWARD PRINCE 10 10-13

Hilary Parrott Jack Doyle 50-1

11) -4503112 MR MOONSHINE (IRE) 10 10-12

Sue Smith Ryan Mania 33-1

12) 6203-020 TEAFORTHREE (IRE) 10 10-12

Rebecca Curtis Nick Scholfield 9-1

13) 10-501U ACROSS THE BAY (IRE) 10 10-11

Donald McCain Henry Brooke 40-1

14) F111116 DOUBLE SEVEN (IRE) 8 10-11

Martin Brassil IRE AP McCoy 25-1

15) 11-1PRP BATTLE GROUP 9 10-10

Johnny Farrelly Brendan Powell 40-1

16) 5-05103 BUCKERS BRIDGE (IRE) 8 10-10

Henry de Bromhead IRE Andrew Lynch 66-1

17) 1/PP-5014 LION NA BEARNAI (IRE) 12 10-10

Tom Gibney IRE Davy Russell 33-1

18) 12-3004 PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 11 10-10

Willie Mullins IRE Paul Townend 20-1

19) 13P-3415 MONBEG DUDE (IRE) 9 10-09

Michael Scudamore Paul Carberry 16-1

20) 1/F0211-23 BIG SHU (IRE) 9 10-08

Peter Maher IRE Peter Buchanan 33-1

21) 2/-500P02 BURTON PORT (IRE) 10 10-08

Jonjo O’Neill Brian Harding 20-1

22) 0P/124-050 OUR FATHER (IRE) 8 10-08

David Pipe Denis O’Regan 50-1

23) 241-3315 MOUNTAINOUS (IRE) 9 10-07

Richard Lee Jamie Moore 40-1

24) 4UP-261 THE RAINBOW HUNTER 10 10-07

Kim Bailey Aidan Coleman 33-1

25) 2P-1262F VINTAGE STAR (IRE) 8 10-07

Sue Smith Brian Hughes 40-1

26) 0400-1P4 CHANCE DU ROY (FR) 10 10-06

Philip Hobbs Tom O’Brien 33-1

27) 12P-426 HAWKES POINT 9 10-06

Paul Nicholls Ryan Mahon 33-1

28) 2-441103 KRUZHLININ (GER) 7 10-06

Donald McCain Wilson Renwick 66-1

29) 35F2013 PINEAU DE RE (FR) 11 10-06

Dr Richard Newland Leighton Aspell 20-1

30) 1R03/3-U1 GOLAN WAY 10 10-05

Tim Vaughan Michael Byrne 66-1

31) 125010U TWIRLING MAGNET (IRE) 8 10-05

Jonjo O’Neill Richie McLernon 66-1

32) 302-FU0 VESPER BELL (IRE) 8 10-05

Willie Mullins IRE Mikey Fogarty 50-1

33) 5/4/14PP-3 THE PACKAGE 11 10-04

David Pipe Tom Scudamore 33-1

34) 15211-P0P3 RAZ DE MAREE (FR) 9 10-03

Dessie Hughes IRE Davy Condon 40-1

35) 114P-01 ROSE OF THE MOON (IRE) 9 10-03

David O’Meara Jake Greenall 50-1

36) /11220/-6P0 SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE) 10 10-03

Nicky Henderson David Bass 33-1

37) 6R3-51P ALVARADO (IRE) 9 10-02

Fergal O’Brien Paul Moloney 33-1

38) 51433-00 LAST TIME D’ALBAIN (FR) 10 10-02

Liam Cusack IRE Robbie Colgan 50-1

39) 23-F3P465 ONE IN A MILAN (IRE) 9 10-02

Evan Williams Adam Wedge 66-1

40) 14406-50 SWING BILL (FR) 13 10-01

David Pipe Conor O’Farrell 66-1

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